• News/Talk
  • Music
  • Entertainment

Weekend America Voices

Orly Halpern

  • Orly Halpern

    Orly Halpern grew up in Orange County, California and Tucson, Arizona. A visit to the Middle East as a teenager enticed her to return as an adult. Since moving to Jerusalem and becoming a journalist, her reporting has focused on the Arab-Israeli conflict. But in 2003 she traveled by a string of taxis to Baghdad where she spent a year living in and reporting from Iraq. (During that time she and a colleague were kidnapped by insurgents near Falluja, but thanks to her knowledge of Arabic and her familiarity with Arab culture she was able to talk their way free.) Since then she has served as the Middle East correspondent for The Jerusalem Post and The Forward, traveling across the Arab and Muslim world to learn about its politics and people.

    Today Ms. Halpern continues to roam the region as a freelance journalist. Her reports have appeared in many newspapers and magazines, including US News and World Report, Dallas Morning News, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, Ha’aretz, McClatchy Newspapers, Hadassah magazine, and Homemakers (Canada). During the Second Lebanon War she reported for US News and was an analyst on Fox News. In the summer of 2007 she traveled to Rwanda and wrote about the empowerment of women since the genocide there.

    Ms. Halpern is now writing a book about her year living among Iraqis and telling their stories - all the while hiding her other identities - Jewish and Israeli from the locals she met across the country: including Shiites in Sadr City, Sunnis in Falluja, and Saddam’s extended family in Tikrit. She can be contacted at: orly at orlyhalpern.com.

Recent Stories


  • Seeking R and R in Qatar

    Four soldiers in Qatar

    In the old days, U.S. soldiers stationed abroad would be let loose for a few days to let off steam. But that's not the case right now in Middle Eastern combat zones. Not only does the U.S. military completely prohibit alcohol, but soldiers never leave their base for fun because they could be targeted anywhere.

Download Weekend America

 ©2015 American Public Media